Netflix’s ‘Tall Girl’ misses the mark

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Netflix’s ‘Tall Girl’ misses the mark

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Netflix has once again released another romantic comedy aimed towards teenagers called “Tall Girl” which chronicles the struggles of Jodi, a 6’1”  young woman, in life and love. Like many of Netflix’s original movies, “Tall Girl” misses the mark. The reasons “Tall Girl” falls flat is because of a  lack of depth in the main character, the absence of complex issues that teenagers deal with and some very offensive comments. 

Jodi Kreyman is the tall girl of this film. She lives in New Orleans with her parents and her pageant queen sister, Harper. Jodi has struggled with tallness her whole life and has been bullied by her peers, which has caused her to not have any confidence in herself. After watching her being teased by her peers, I feel empathy for her. 

However, viewers do not really get to know who Jodi is other than the fact that she likes to read and has no self confidence. Her hopes and dreams aren’t even glossed over like they are in “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” She is simply someone who is defended by her friends and hides anywhere she can. If her friends really cared, they would see Jodi is clearly depressed and needs help to get through it, yet her friends disregard her lack of self esteem as being scared of the world around her.

The absence of complex issues parallels the issue of an empty main character. Jodi complains about her height and how she wants to be invisible, which is a valid feeling, but there are some potential deep issues the film could have dived deeper into. One example of such an issue is her mother’s treatment of Jodi and her sister, Harper. It is clear that Jodi’s mother, Helaine, prefers Harper over Jodi. Yet, Helaine’s preference also brings Harper a lot of pain. She has to look a certain way and be on a strict diet in order to win her contests. 

While this movie has so much potential to delve into familial dysfunction, depression and self acceptance, it trades these relatable issues with crass jokes. An example of this is when Jodi discusses how she wants to date someone taller than her. Her friend Jack, says that this pairing will cause her to have an abnormally large baby, which will need to be delivered by cesarean section. Jack says this will scar her “long, beautiful torso.” I felt this joke was too far because many women have children this way and don’t regret having a scar.  

“Tall Girl” is another Netflix original movie that was made to add to the service’s collection. It could definitely be worse, but it also definitely could be better. As Netflix begins to grow, maybe the company’s content will also be filled with more quality minded movies. 

2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)
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